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A self-portrait by David Kim, a 15-year-old Vanguard School student, was selected by judges in the 2021 Congressional Art Competition to hang in Washington, D.C., for one year.

David Kim is now on display at the U.S. Capitol.

A drawing of his pensive, bespectacled face, that is. The 15-year-old Vanguard School student’s self-portrait was selected by judges in the 2021 Congressional Art Competition to hang in Washington, D.C., for one year.

“I was very surprised,” Kim said. “I feel grateful. A lot of this wouldn’t have happened without everyone who supported me. It definitely feels like a gift from God. This talent. How he made this happen. My teacher, who supported me, who told me I should go for it. My family and friends who’ve encouraged me.”

Kim is one of more than 100 students from 13 schools across the district, which includes El Paso, Fremont, Teller, Park and Chaffee counties, whose works were juried into the annual show. Every year, one student’s piece is chosen for Washington, D.C.

“I am always pleased to see our district’s winning piece displayed in the tunnel on the way to the U.S. Capitol for members of Congress and thousands of visitors to see,” U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn said. “This national competition is a wonderful opportunity for students in the Pikes Peak region to showcase their tremendous talent and abilities.”

The exhibit, on display through Tuesday at the Colorado Springs Airport, also is available to view online at lamborn.house.gov/2021- peoples-choice-gallery. People also can vote for this year’s People’s Choice award.

Every spring since 1982, the Congressional Institute has held a nationwide high school visual art competition. The creativity is important to Lamborn, said his communications director, Cassandra Sebastian.

“For him it’s just like our U.S. service academies nominees — being able to pick kids from the community who have high standards in whatever they’re doing,” Sebastian said. “It pulls people from across our community to put their best foot forward. It’s like they’re in a competing art show in the art world. It’s a real art show juried by real judges.”

Contact the writer: 636-0270

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